Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, fair use, videos, youtube


EFF Gears Up To Fight Back Against Bogus YouTube Takedowns

from the fair-use,-huh? dept

Last month, we were a bit surprised by claims from an NBC Universal representative that filtering technology in use today could distinguish between fair use and infringement when it came to content online. That was a surprise to us, because we've seen no such technology -- while seeing plenty of bogus takedowns. That's only increased in the last few weeks since Warner Music decided to demand more money for any video on YouTube that included Warner Music Group music, leading to many videos being taken down. The response is not just pissing off and damaging Warner's own musicians, but also many, many fans whose videos almost certainly do not infringe or are covered by fair use rules. Warner's public response to all of this, by the way? "No comment."

The EFF is noticing this as well and is pointing out that it correctly warned that various automated filtering technologies wouldn't take fair use into account and would cause many more problems. Now, the EFF is clearly looking for a test case, asking those whose videos have been taken down, despite clear fair use -- such as the teenaged girl who's video of herself singing "Winter Wonderland" was removed -- to contact the EFF. I expect we'll see lawsuits filed in short order.

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    Stephen Pate, 1 Mar 2009 @ 12:43am

    Warner Music

    Did anyone get an uncontrollable desire to go out and buy the latest Coasters CD yesterday, you know the one with the song Searchin? No, I didn’t think so. It was big hit in 1957 when most people were not born. I was and when I did White Rabbit 1 the music came to my mind so we put it in the video. Wrong! Somebody named WMG owns the copyright to Searchin. That’s Warner Music Group, the label with no good new music that is suing everyone to make a nickle off old songs. Techdirt has a long list of stories about the bad behavior of Warner Music.

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